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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  April 13, 2014 1:52pm-3:16pm EDT

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>> host: professor zelenak, heads are exploding across -- [laughter] listening, saying, that's fine, i'll pay my taxes, but why is it so hard? why is it so difficult? and asking a tax lawyer if our tax code is too complicateed -- >> guest: it is. maybe it's if my professional interest to, i mean, obviously, what i do is teach law students how to deal with the complexities and then go out and have a nice career dealing with the complexities. so i suppose it's not really in my professional interest to argue for simplification. but i think the current federal income tax is, in many ways, a mess, you know? and i think you would be hard pressed to find anybody who would defend it in its current form. so the last chapter of the book says if we're ever going to realize the potential civic
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virtues that, of that ozzy nelson and luigi experienced -- that's a long time ago now, more than six decades ago -- it's going to have to be with a return-based system which doesn't make people furious with it. and i think that's quite doable. the current code is loaded with provisions that are both complicated and make no policy sense like the alternative minimum tax and the way a lot of tax benefits are subject to phaseouts. which function as hidden marginal tax rate increases which nobody understands. for a lot of people, the income tax has become a kind of black box, you know, where you put numbers into the 1040 or into the software, or you give them to your return preparer, and a number comes out this is your tax liability. but they have no idea where that came from. well, i always have trouble
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saying this, but i think it's a good line if i can get it out. taxation without comprehension is as inimicable to democracy as taxation without representation. and we've got a real democratic problem when people are paying taxes and they have no idea, they can't comprehend how those tax liabilities were arrived at. it just happens inside the computer by some process that's invisible to them. i think that has to stop. i mean, we have to have a system which is simple enough that people can comprehend where their tax liability came from, how it was derived and also that they can deal with the complexity with a minimal amount of assistance. i they's doable. but whether or not congress has a will to do it, another question. >> host: lawrence zelenak teaches tax law at the duke university school of law. he is the author of this book
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published by the university of chicago press, "learning to love form 1040: two cheers for the return-based income tax." thank you for your time. >> guest: thank you, peter. >> you're watching booktv, nonfiction authors and books every weekend on c-span2. >> booktv covers hundreds of author programs throughout the country all year long. here's a look at some of the events we'll be attending this week. look for these programs to air in the near future on booktv on c-span2. on monday, we're at housing works bookstore café in new york city as michael malice reports on north korean propaganda and the life of its late leader, kim jung-il. the next day booktv is in los angeles at the rand corporation for economist william easterly's talk on his recently-published book on global poverty, "the tyranny of experts."
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we stay on the west coast on wednesday for the biography for the activist of upton sinclair in san francisco. then on thursday we're in kentucky as investigative journalist and author matt taibi reports on the intersection of financial inequality from the louisville public library. that's a look at some of the author programs booktv will be covering this upcoming week. for more go to and visit "upcoming programs." ♪ ♪ >> clerking each year -- collecting each year $100 billion or more in federal taxes, the internal revenue service probably has continuing contact with more citizens of the united states than any other agency of the federal government. internal revenue's most dramatic operation, perhaps, is the alcohol and tobacco tax division which regulates for tax purposes the liquor and tobacco
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industries and works earnestly to restrain the manufacture of illicit alcohol products. [gunfire] >> the billions of cigarettes and cigars smoked annually in this country is yet another basis of tax relationship between the citizen and the revenue service. all this variety of effort and activity is what keeps 60,000 employees busy not just during the filing period, but every day the year round. >> from 1969, the history and functions of the treasury department, today on american history tv's "real america" at 4 p.m. eastern on c-span3. >> he was, first of all, born in 1874 in iowa as the son of quakers and son of a blacksmith, and he was orphaned before he was 10. went out to live, eventually, with an uncle in oregon.
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never had more than a middle school education really. and then applied for entrance into newly-formed stanford university in the summer of 1891 and got admission and was told to take some additional tutoring with the help of which he passed most of his entrance exams, and he was allowed to enter. he was probably literally the first student at the stanford university in the fall of '91 getting his dormitory room ahead of anyone else. and thus became his, in his team sense, his alma matter. you have to remember, he's an orphan guy, and he was trying to make it in the world. he was only 17 when he entered college, and he was rather shy, but he blossomed in college and became student body treasurer by time he was out of college. and stanford meant so much to him that about 25 years or so after that, after world war i, hoover literally built his own home on the stanford campus.
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and that's still there, it's the official residence today of the president of the united states. >> and, dr. nash, what did he do with his education that he got there? he studied engineering? >> yes. his official major was geology, and he had an interest and that quickly became his career after he graduated in 859. after a year or two -- 1895. after a year or two he got break and was hired by a british mining and engineering firm, and he was sent as a very young man to australia. and before he left australia at the age of 23, he was already manager of one of the great gold mines of the australian gold rush, sons of gualia, it was called. and from there he went to -- got married to a stanford woman who also was a geology major, possibly the first such woman in the united states to have that major, we can't be sure. but she was certainly a pioneer in her own right, lou henry
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hoover, and they went to china, and eventually hoover used london as his base during his mining engineering career which took him up to world war i. he became very successful at it, traveled all over the world, lived in places like burma, china, australia and so forth and had a great success at that first career. >> you're watching booktv on c-span3. here's our prime time lineup for tonight. ..
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next on book tv we continue our coverage of the national black writers conference. an annual event in it's 12th 12th year, held at medgar evers college in new york. that starts now on booktv. >> i'm dr. brenda green, director of the conference, and really pleased to have today three panel discussions, one focused on saving ourselves, saving our communities, reconstructing the historical narrative, and the state of publishing a 2014 odyssey.
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aid like the thank c-span for covering this event and introduce you to the moderator, linda baron, an author and poet. chair of the teacher education department at your college, and inspirational speaker and motivator. welcome, dr. linda baron. [applause] >> it is just a pleasure to be here at my sister college, medgar evers. i tent know -- i think you need to just be reminded the person you just heard speak was dr. brenda green, the director of the conference and the center for black literature at medgar evers. i have the most love and regard for a woman who keeps our traditions going intact, and i would quote marie evans except she is the most humble person
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over there if you say anything about her, she gets mad. don't waste time talking about her. she is strong beyond all recognition, still defying place and time and circumstance, and indestructible, i look at hear and am renewed. give brenda green a hand. thank you so much. >> applause. >> it is my honor -- i have just met these wonderful women. i've read about them. read some of their work, being introduce through their boyows. my job is to first warm you up, let you know you're here to learn between joy, and to bring the joy of us being who and what we are, so just be happy. just be happy. i'm not going to sing it. it won't make you happy. just be happy. bring your joy. people out there trying to steal our joy. if you've been in the place i've been, people trying to steal your joy, say. no say no to drugs, say no to
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people trying to steal your joy. can i get a witness? >> amen. >> as we talk about saving ourselves we have to save ourselves for the joy of life and saving our communities. our moderator for today is a wonderful woman, dr. jacqueline bryce-finch. the chair of the department of english and modern languages at the university of maryland eastern shore, and as i'm a chair in my small college i pay homage to anybody who can be chair in an institution of higher learning. so, hmm. she is co-author of "get it together: readings about african-american life" and was the founding publisher of -- caribbean women writer ands scholars and being an invited speaker at national international conferences and
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also lectured at many, many american universities as well as internationally at universities in istanbul, turkey, the colleges of the bahamas. her biois in your program. i think we best serve this time by letting her moderate, do her job. please welcome our moderator, dr. jacqueline bryce. maas applause. >> good afternoon. saving ourselves, saving our communities, african-americans are among the many people of color who have traditionally been excluded by literature, related to the natural environment, and nature in particular. conventional notions of the literature on the environment leave out the ways in which, as a result of issues relating to oppression, freedom, and
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equality, african-americans have used their knowledge of the natural environment. hole listic health, farming techniques, et cetera to today the natural landscape. to navigate different geographical spaces and to survive the effects of slavery, natural disasters, disease, famine, and war. african-americans have been natural ecologists. as they respond to these crises in their communities and in doing so have saved themselves and their community. joined from their scholarship, texts and expertise in these areas, the three panelist about before you with -- examine -- to
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my far right is dr. guyan glob, the author of "rooted in the earth: reclaiming the african-american environmental heritage" published in 2010. and in 2006, she cooed didded with mark stole "to love the wind and the rain" african-americans and environmental history. she has written a number of articles, including "black environmental liberation theology: the historical and theological roots of environmental justice activist by the african-american church," and "the african-american cooperative service: a tradition in conservation and
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preservation in the early 20th 20th century." "dr. glob has a ph.d degree in united states social history, with an emphasis on african-american environmental history. in 2010, she completed her masters of divinity degree at the candler school of theology at emily university, with a concentration on faith, health, and science. currently she is associate pastor at inglemar church in pittsburgh. the title of her presentation is: "the african-american church: never left the outdoors." next to her is dr. low rhett savoy, who writes about the stories we tell of the lands' origin and history, and the stories we tell of ourselves in
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the land and identity. her books include "the color of nature, culture, identity and the natural world" in 2011. "bedrock, writers on the wonders of geology" in 2006. and "living with the changing california coast," also written in 2006. published in 2006. dr. savoy is now completing a manuscript of memoir narrative nonfiction tracing how human experience and the history of the american landscape itself has from fragmented tellings, artificially pulled apart what cannot be disentangled. nature and race. she is professor of environmental studies and geology at -- the title of her
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presentation today is: "restore ing an african-american presence in this land." the third panelist is tracy mcquarter. she is a vegan trail blazer. public health nutrition expert, author and international lecturer, who has been named a national food hero. her national best seller "by any greens necessary: a revolutionary guide for black women who want to eat great, get healthy, lose weight, and look fat, and that's phat" published in two 10. this book was the number one vegan book on the huffington post. miss mcquarter directed the nation's first federally funded
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vegan nutrition program and cofounded one of the first vegan web sites 15eers ago. she is a national authority on preventing -- i'm sorry -- on preventing and reversing chronic diseases in african-american women, using plant-based nutrition, and has been credited in part with increasing the number of african-american vigue agains and vegetarians to nearly three million people. the title of her presentation: "liberate your mind and your mouth will follow." thank you. we'll begin with dr. glob.
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[inaudible conversations] >> my name is dianne glave and my title is: the african-american church never left the outdoors." you can get in touch with me at this web site in the future. now, its seems that being green in the african-american community is something that is a 201st century phenomenon but i argue differently. i was really excited when i saw online an article titled "african-american clergy seek to bridge the green gap" in the huffington post. i was exited because there is a
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greg green movement in the african-american community and it's also the case in the african-american church, but i would argue that this goes further back than what is going on in the 21st century and i'd like to share that. the article begins at trinity united church of christ in chicago, members and neighbors buy fruits and vegetables from a black farmers market and work in an organic garden named after george washington carver. he goes way, way back, and he is one of our first african-american environmentalists. he would not have self-identified as such. he had an esthetic, took measure from the environment, and also was very practical in how he related to the environment in terms of agriculture. we have a history that goes back. here's a photo of the women together. it's earth day. and they're encouraging members at trinity united church of christ?
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chicago to shrink their car gone footprint. everybody familiar with the carbon footprint? we want to save the planet by decreasing the amount of co2 going out into the air, and it's affecting our weather patterns. some people argue differently. but the way we're living now is increasing the co2 and impacting the environment negatively etch that's what i argue. so, the panel centers on volunteerism, and i started thinking about that. is the experience of african-americans around vonnism, is it life or death, survival? recreation? nature appreciation? or living fully. i would say that it runs across the spectrum, but it would be less so volunteerism because a lot of this, especially historically, has been about survival. so, i wanted to start thinking about theology and one of our opinion panelists -- i pulled a little bit from her. i like that. i can do a little tie-in.
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i started thinking about the theology in terms of reality and real life, and one of the years i thought about was stewardship, and biblically, it is a dominion model but we're moving more so as a country and also in churches towards being caretakers. we're moving away from the control, the oppression, the domination of the environment. also started thinking about food ways and i love that title. i wish i had come up with it. by any greens necessary." and a lot of us chuckle because we're thinking about who win we think of the title? malcolm x. by any means necessary. so, in terms of the environment, in terms of our food ways, we have to go through a philosophical transformation so that we look at food differently. that we understand the food ways. if you're living in a neighborhood where there's no supermarket, you adopt know where you food comes from and also not getting fruit. where does the tomato come from? at it in a can.
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special if if you ask a child, that's the concept where the food started. and we need to look dramatically, much as the case for malcolm x, look at food in different ways. and there's also sustainability, and i was watching a video and reverend otis moss 3 republic from trinity united church of christ, which i mentioned before, he talks about saved by the sun, and powered by the sun. so there's an increasing theological thought and also practical things going on in terms of saving the environment through the african-american church. because i am interdisciplinary i'm pulling from a lot of different areas. very much contemporary, looking at the african-american church and environmentalism as a recent phenomenon, and i put a question mark there pause i say, not so. it is not the case. there's been a long history with theology and literature as the foundation, and as
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african-americans we have been immersed in the environment and have also had to survive because we were forced to work the land as enslaved people, and neoenslavement as sharecroppers. so is a relationship with nature a luxury? for some in this country it is. those that can be very recreational, going to yosemite park, but for the majority of african-americans it's not so luxurious. so i state the african-american church never left the outdoors. what we have going on here in the african diaspora is an alternative way of describing it nascent coming, having already been in existence, and there were definitely earlier incarnations of what we see today in the 21st century. i see it as being relational with the environment and
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surviving the environment. this is alternative to volunteering or service, which has been very popular in terms of how we as a country relate to the environment. so we have a diaspora echo theology. the echo theology is an interconnection between religion and nature, church, and the environment, and for me a corollary would be ethical issues concerning the relationship to the environment. so, i argue historically, african-americans have drawn from a practical theology application to everyday life of primarily living or experiencing nature and surviving in it. so there's also a nature appreciation because i mentioned george washington carver. i don't want to leave that out. some areas i wanted to cover. the practical diaspora and echo theology, africa to the united states, african spirituality and
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africaism and to a nascent revolt. we'll talk about how it's seen through nat turner, linda brent, and clementine hunter. so let's start off with some beginnings. going to start back in africa. and what i'm going to pull from is -- it's a reflection, a fiction of what sort of encompasses what might have happened to an individual who was pulled from the land in africa. so let me begin. comes out of rooted in the earth. the gaitkeeper is menka, a young man a few years beyond his initiation into manhood. he stands with his head wrapped and his body draped in white before the entrance of his village's earth shrine in ghana. he guards a place of worship
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where community members offer animal sacrifices for increased fertility, bury their dead and venerate their ancestors, all practices with many veriation youth west africa. while men from a neighboring village capture menka, battering him on the held and shoulders and enveloping him in a net. he is drag to the western shores of africa. after being imprisoned for two days, he shoved into the dim hold of a ship, filled with africans of diverse culture and religious beliefs. they're bodies are pressed together. shackled, head to toe. once free in africa, seasoned in jamaica, now enslaved in alabama, they gatekeeper is forced to adopt, later embraces, new religion, blending african spiritualout with the pros tess
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tenantism of the slave holders. so her we see a shrine in mali, and it's treated as sacred in relationship to spirit and dead ancestors. so i'm going to make some generalizations here in terms of africa spirituality and the environment. four africans -- for africans historically there has been an interconnected ness of the human, the spiritual, and the environmental in the united states we tend to separate them. if woe are woke going outdoors we go for a hike. all of its drawn together. they believe the harm to -- necessarily affected the others. in terms of agriculture, there's life and death in planting cycles. farmers also consecrated the soil, the source of spirituality.
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nourishment. so here we are in north america. and there's much to be said about the middle passage, a lot of -- talks about experience as a child and how he was frightened and experienced wonder in terms of seeing fish but also horrible experiences in the hold of a ship. and they were exposed to all sorts of disease. it was just a terrible journey. they came here, though, and they retained african spirituality while also taking in protestantism, blending them together. and one outcome of that was the brush arbor where church was happening in the outdoors, where a center was essentially created out of the woods itself or they would use some brush to create a sanctuary. this was a place, really, of rebelon because whites did not
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want african-americans, particularly during enslavement to gather together. it was a revolutionary place where they practiced religion in a different way than whites in the environment. so i mentioned three groups of people -- three people, rather, and i wanted to start off with nat turner. we're going back to 1831. much of what we gleaned from him comes out of the confessions of nat turner, the leader of the late incentury rex, and when he was sharing what happened after he was captured, he saw himself as a prophet, and this is an old testament connection out of the bible. his father said he saw that nat had great purpose and another influence in another area that impacted him was the slaveholder was practicing christianity, and
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religious loaders came to the house and he gleaned much from them. he claimed divine inspiration in terms of the incentury rex, and he set himself apart from others and fasted and prayed which is very bib lake. he might matthews 6:33 and said he drew from the kingdom of god and all things will be added to you. so he look to these visions as a way to justify his actions. let me just sayre one bit -- he had four separate visions. and both -- all of them are in an environmental context. in the first vision, nate saw white spirits and black spirits engaged in battle and the sun was darkened. the thunder rolled in the heavens, and blood flowed in streams, and i heard a voice
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saying, such is your luck. such you are called to see, and let it come rough or smooth, you must surely bear it. so he saw many things. he saw droplets of blood on leaves. and all of them were environmental indicators which led him to plan and execute the insurrection. in the end nat saud he -- saw he had holy permission from god to lay down the yoke in the sip sins of men. in terms of timeline, we have incidents in the life of a slave girl, and she experienced a moment in a graveyard and there was a tree stump, there were birds that were twittering, and she remembered her ancestors, which is a connection to
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ancestor wore worship in africa. when she was out there she was transitioning, running away, and experiencing all of this in the outdoors, and she fell like she was on hallowed ground and invoked the spirits of her parents along with nate turner -- nat turner, and she did all this in a natural setting and was influenced by the plants 0 of 0 trees at graves which symbolized the ancestral connection and the rising to heaven. so, we have clementine hunter, and she is depicting baptism ino she's bringing together images of african-americans with the landscape, and she is drawing
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from her experience as being part of a sharecropping family. so, i want you all to think about how we started at the beginning with the contemporary things going on. african-americans are now concerned about sustainability. i go to the supermarket and people are recycling and they're using bags that are allowing them to not impact the environment. i want you al to continue to think about the theological and how churches are actually involved with and pushing forward this green movement. we don't want to survive in the 21st century. we want to live. i think one of the things we're moving towards isen esthetic and more things going on your
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doors -- outdoors, and there are initiatives that are both practical and esthetic. thank you for your time. [applause] >> good afternoon. i think this is such a delicious, delicious discussion, and i'm just really honored to be a part of it, and the many facets of this topic we're touching is really exciting -- stuff. thank you to jacqueline and to my fellow panelists, dianne and lauret, and i look at myself in this topic as a subject. while i've decided to look at myself as a subject today. and talk about how i saved
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myself and how i went on to help to save our community, particularly african-american women. and i'm going to talk about this in the context of being a speaker and an author and having a masters degree in public health nutrition. so, what led me to do all of that is that i -- when i was a sophomore at amherst college, was introduced to investigatannism by dick gregory. anyone who does not know who dick gregory is? this is 1986. and i was -- our black student union at amherst brought dick gregory to campus to talk about the state of black america, instead he talked about the plate of black america and how unhealthfully most black folks eat. this is 1986.
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we knew rick gregory as a civil rights icon, of course, and that's why we asked him to come. we did not know he had become a vegetarian, and that he was -- this was his thing he was doing, and had i nope that i would not have shown up because when i was growing up, i hated vegetables and anything green, and when i was in the seventh grade in washington, dc, i went to a school where the obama girls are now going. a very well-known school and probably have healthier food than they did then, or more healthier choices. i had two vegetarian techers in the seventh grade who want our camping tripe to be all vegetarian. i thought it was a horrible idea and i wrote a petition and got my classmates to sign it and i was overruled and so we had a vegetarian camping trip, which i thought was a horrible, horrible thing. so fast forward.
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i never gave vegetarianism a second thought. just thought it was something that my crazy teachers did. fags forward. i'm a sophomore, dick gregory on campus talking about food and health, and so i tried to tune him out but what grabbed me about his lecture was that he -- he spoke for two and a half hours on this topic -- he traced the path of a ham -- hamburger through the assurringhouse, to a restaurant to a artery and a heart attack. so as open oprah said, that stopped me cold. i never heard anyone make the connection between what i ate and my health before in quite that way. this was as a time when i was questioning a lot of things in my life. so, i was a black studies major and a political science minor.
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i had decided to take the relaxer out of my hair. i was questioning so many things. studying capitalism and racism and sexism and homophobia and third world at that time, 1986, imperialism. so, all of these things were happening, and i was ripe at the time to question the way that society dictated i should eat. right? and also, my freshman year, the year before, i had gained 25 pounds. right. so, i was well on my way to that heart attack that dick gregory was talking about. i literally ate hamburgers and french fries and pizza all the time. i never ate vegetables because i was airplane d. away from home and didn't have to. so dick gregory's lecture caused me to give up hamburgers and hot dogs for a week, and i went back
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to eating it but he planted a seed i could not get out of my mind, and so when i went home for the summer, a few months later, i decided to read everything in the martin luther king library and the library of congress i could get my hands on about vegetarianism. one of my sisters, an historian in d.c., and my mother, who is in her 50s, decided to read the same book, and at the end of the summer we all decided to become vegetarian. i went for my junior year to howard universe. so, when i arrived in nairobi, i was told i could not have vegetarian food because when i applied to the program a year earlier i was a happy omnivore and i was arriving as a tentative vegetarian. so there were two incidents that happened to cut the time short i won't get into, that made me know i would become a vegetarian and that's all in the book.
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the next semester when i came back to d.c. and went to howard university, i had decided -- i really am going to be a vegetarian, and discovered a community of african-american cemetery yaps and vegans right near -- cemeterians and vegans right near howard university who opened all vegan cafes, health food, restaurants and carryouts in the nation's capitol, and they started that in the earl 1980s, and many of them were influenced by dick gregory's 1974 book, cooking with mother nature, which became a bible of sorts for black folks all over the country. they were influenced also by their participation in the civil rights movement, and the black liberation movement. and so this for them was part of all of that liberation. they were working on, working in, working towards. and so they took control of their halve as part of that
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revolution. that personal revolution. and so i immersed myself in this community during that semester and learned from them how to cook plant-based foods, why to eat plant-based foods, how to cook them, where to shop, the whole nine yards. and my mother did the same. i was living at home. we cooked together. took plant-based cooking classes. when i arrived back to amherst my senior year, i was a very confident vegetarian at the time, and so i ended up taking myself off the meal plan and going up to the bread and circus, catching the bus in the winter of massachusetts to bread and circus, a precursor to whole foods. bought my food and cooked it in the basement of the house i lived in carried my plate croat campus to the cafeteria and ate with my friends and i did that three times a day for my entire senior year. this is how committed and knowledgeable i was about how
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unhealthfully it is to eat meat and dairy and how much healthier to eat plant-based foods. so, i was -- i still could not give up cheese. i was addicted to cheese, and as you may or may not know, cheese is the biggest source of saturated fat in the diet, and when we talk about why we should eat plant-based foods as opposed to meat and dairy or eat more plant-based foods it's not rocket science. it's saturated fat and cholesterol and the honor moans and antibiotics in the meat and dairy supply. but saturated fat and cholesterol enclosing your art clog your arteries and there will be a small pin hole left inside the artery, and if they're leading to the heart you may get a heart attack. if they close and it's leading to your brain, you may get a stroke in between time you may bet prediabetes, diabetes, become overweight or obese.
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you may be on the path to certain cancers, including overy yap and breast and prostate. so, these are the basic reasons why it's healthier to eat plant-based food. and meat and dairy contain no fiber. plant-based foods do. so, as a gift to myself, and after reading, reading, reading, automatic i could about cheese, i finally decided to give it up. so, i then decided to over the course of time become a new -- nutritionist. i knew would become some type of activist. as you can tell in my seventh grade 'er year when i wrote the petition against vegetarianism. so i always knew i would be some kind of activist works towards the liberation of black people and it has become in this way about how plant-based foods in
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particular, and why this is such an important issue. i consider this the civil rights issue of our time. and there are other civil rights issues of our time but this one is mine, and the work i do, because we all know, in particular black women, 80% are overweight, 50% obese. this is not acceptable. not only unacceptable this is the statistic for black women but that means it's the statistic and will be for our children, and we are the ones who are still most responsible for food in our families. and i also want to stress here that this is not a blame thing. this is just a fact and there are lots of reasons why it is this way. we don't have as many organic salad bars in our communities as we do fast-food places, of course, unless that community is being gentrified.
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so, -- which also means that black people are being displaced. so there are issues there. so there's lot of reasons why but the thing is we can take control and we must. this is not something we can tip toe around. so when i first started talking about this -- i have been a vegetarian for 25 years. but now i know we can't afford to not eat more plant based foods. this is the healthiest way to eat and these are not acceptable. that's a saying our dna loads the gun but at it our diet that pulls the trigger and i give my mother as an example. as i mentioned my mother became vegetarian with me when she was in her 50s and, and then vegan when i did a year later, and this is no small feat for a woman from south carolina. my mother will be 78 this year. she has no chronic disease
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whatsoever. nothing. no high blood pressure, high cholesterol, arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, overweight. she has her 37-26-37 figure. of her 13 siblings, who survived into their senior year, she is the only one without chronic disease and both parents died with chronic disease. i never met them. so my mother changed the paradigm in our family. she also exercises six days a week, for one to two hours a day. so it's exorcize, of -- exercise, of course, but of exercise and stress reduction, nutrition is the most important, and all of those things -- these things we should do but nutrition is key and we have to change the way we eat. it's not just a personal decision anymore that we may like chicken or fish or -- yes, and i do include fish, and we may like steak.
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but this is a community-wide issue. this is a crisis in our community. and in addition, the united nations has issued now several reports basically encouraging most of the world's citizens to eat less meat because it is not sustainable to production livestock in the way we are. and not only is it not sustainable, to continue this production, because of the amount of land and the pollution of land and water throughout the world, that is affected by this livestock production. we're talking bills of -- billions of factory farm animals that are produced for us to have a steak or chicken or whatever. minutes? okay. thank you. but eating -- the production of livestock for food in this country is -- and around the
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world -- is the single biggest contributor to global warming. more than all of the world's transportation combined. so this is beyond a personal issue. this is a global issue, and that is why the united nations and all of the world's health organizations are saying, we must eat less meat. and so i could go on about why this is the case, but basically it's the production of -- it's the -- a mission of methane gas in the burps and poops of the animals that causes this. it's very simple. the information has been out here for more than 50 years that plant-based foods or healthiest, but a food industry does not benefit from us eating less processed food, less meat and dairy, and in conjunction with the usda, whose job it is not only to give us dietary guidelines-i think it's the my food plate now to tell us what
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we should eat and their job is also to promote production of food and the consumption of food. they have a conflict of interest. another reason why we must take control of our halve -- health. we have the capacity to change this paradigm for ourselves, for our families and our communities, and ultimately i think globally, so, i think my time is running out. i tried to condense all of this for you. but this is -- i will just say this. that there are programs now -- this all over the country that are happening, trying to encourage people to eat more plant-based foods, and one of the things i like to lead people with is -- leave people with is to not only read everything you can about why to eat plant-based foods and how to make it affordable and tasty, you must know this is not a sacrifice and this is not sentencing yourself
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to a lifetime of bland, tasteless food. it's 2014 and it should go -- eating healthy food is delicious. if you can make a dead bird taste good you can make plant-based foods taste delicious. thank you. [applause] [inaudible conversations] good afternoon, all. >> good afternoon. >> thank you. i'm going to return to storying and that is remembering the stories that are part of our heritage, the stories we tell ourselves about living in this land, and restoring an
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african-american presence in this land really just means remembering, if you know the root of the word remember, it means piecing the body back together. i'd like to begin with the memory of mind. talk about memories and stories of the past, of african-americans in this land, that perhaps have been lost in public history, and then a couple of stories of today. and i hope you enjoy this. i must say, thank you. i'm very, very grateful to be here. when i was a horse, a wild appaloosa, full of speed, i'd run up and down five walks around playgrounds and yards. once the world moved beyond sense i began to run from what i feared. i learned by the age of eight that hate could be spit, dribbling down the front of my favorite mom-made dress.
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-- [inaudible] >> hate could be -- can you hear me? hate could be a classmate's singing a song -- [inaudible] [inaudible] >> one thing about a panel full of african-american women who are smart is that they're smart. i learned by the age of eight that hate could be spit dribbling down the front of my favorite mom-made dress. hate could be a classmate's sing son, never saw nothing as ugly as a nigger, and his eyes on me.
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so i began to run, not just to feel wind but in hopes it would blow away whatever it was about me that was bad or hate-deserving, and safety lived in my room, my mother's arms, and outdoors in a nature that never judged or spat. whether it was a river named o'tome yack or a kenyan called grand, the american land did not hate. and so that was the beginning of this child's relationship with land and place. and all of us here have stories, and so do our ancestors. the events of our lives take place. they take place. have youing to about that? really deep down in your bones? we can imagine environment or nature very broadly, more than surroundings, more tan the air of the land or water, more than the birds and bees, more than
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wilderness and parks, but a as surroundings, and the context and the conditions in which we live our lives, in which each of us lives and dies in is intimately part. so any definition of nature and environment thats to not include experiences 0 place that are exiled or degraded. enslaved, is missing the boat. as we all know the segregation of ideas continues in the literature and the environment and in nature writing, such that the voices and storied lives of those who are not of european desscent or scouted but we have ecological ancestors and we can reclaim their stories. now, the writeings and thoughts
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falled different paths, far beyond conservation, to the imbedded context of racism and oppression. that circumscribed our relationships to the american land elm thereat is of frederick douglass said that slavery invade the slave but the land itself, the soil, and those writing after the civil war recognize that in order to have a healthy relationship to the land, the land itself has to be respected. and these are stories that we all can tell, even though they may not be known, and they're very much part of america's environmental history. not the stories of national parks or not only the stories of national parks. and the white ecological ancestors we always turn to in
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popular history. another example is dubois' essay on the african roots in the first world war. it came out in the may 1915 issue of the atlantic monthly, and it is as much an environmental narrative as anything published that year by it would conservationists. deboys rode today africa is being enslaved by the theft of her land and natural resources. the gold and diamonds of south africa, the cocoa of angola and nigeria. the rubber and ivory of the congress go, and the palm oil of the west coast, these in his words were the reasons for this competitive war of empire this is 1915. and dubois could write about the
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glory of full beaut in grand canyon park, but even these words have never found they're way into nature writing anthologies or books on american environmental thought and perhaps it's because he juxtaposed the beauty of nature and the ugliness of jim crow racism. race and nature. two of the most contested constructs in american history have always been intertwined. auld. and at the same time, american activism and american thought by afro americans have been a part of this for our existence here on this continent, and that activism and thought have assumed many diverse forms, many diverse expressions. history, history, is not only the events that happen but it's also the stories told of those
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events, and we can reclaim them. they're never been single-voiced. we can restory our past and heritage with experiences and meanings that are as wide as the continent is broad. so, what does this mean about the present? what does it mean to be an african-american person or person of african desscent, in relationship to the land that is part of the united states. what creates a sense of belonging or a sense of not belonging in this country? what i'd like to do is briefly present two examples of giving voice to the stories that we all have today. the first is the black land project. hum of you know what csas are,
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community supported agriculture? a few? a couple of you? how many of you have farm shares, you get your food from local farmers markets or produce? many of you do. how many of you know this idea of local farms providing food was the idea of a black man in the 1970s in the sense of having shares where you could pay down some money and be a client of that local farm. this was a man named booker t. waitly. a professor at tuskegee institute, and he was a horticulturist, and he established in the early 19th 19th century the system of what he called clientele membership clubs as a tool to help farmers make sure they can pay for crop, and it took hold and became the csa or the community supported agriculture we see through the country in urban areas and rural areas. and the story of booker t. --
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this particular booker t. -- is one of many that the black land project is unearthing the black lamb project was established by a woman, and if you're interested in it, just google black lamb and it does not focus on historical documentary. it focuses on the present, on the stories that communities, that people are telling of themselves in relationship to their neighborhoods, in relationship to their land and in relationship to place and home. by interviewees include african immigrants and equally diverse are the relationships to place going far beyond the rural south or far beyond cities. cases in point include a fifth generation family farm in the alabama black belt. historically black neighborhood in detroit. a public park in new orleans. a new england church filled with
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history. an immigrant commune that is trying to tell the stories of its journey from one land to another. or 73-year-old ohio woman who decided to walk part -- 253 miles of the underground railroad on foot so she could then experience what her ancestors experienced and what she found along the way was hospitality from the first step to the last. or a flint, michigan, steelworker, realized his neighborhood was literally decayed, abandoned. so when he retired he put all his money to buying houses for all his children next to his so he could begin to make a neighborhood that was dying, come back to life, and he has. by collecting and making hundreds of such stories like this public, by teaching workshops, by making them
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accessible to schools, whether they be kindergarten, elementary schools, to colleges and universities, the black land project seeks to help people of all backgrounds realize that both black communities and our stories, are sources of wisdom and of resilience. and i'd like to end with just one other example. and do it by returning to literature. i've often been asked when i attend conferences -- you'll be able to tell by the questions who is doing the asking -- question one: why is it that african-americans dent care about the environment? that anyone. question two is: why is there so little writing by minorities about nature, about land, about place? and of course, you all know that those questions are false to
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begin with. and i was very lucky enough to work with 30 different writers to put those questions on their head, turn them around, kick them out the doctor, and these writers were able to provide very provocative pieces and they're african-americanan, caribbean, native american, latino, latina, native american, and people of mixed heritage who are all trying to write of the intersections between cultural identity on the one hand and he can collegial awareness and knowledge on the other. and in doing so and in presenting all of their so very different experiences, of land, of place, and of home, they've been able to create a larger and much more textured cloth of experience in this land than the mono chromatic version of american nature write organize
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the mainstream environmental movement. i was able to work with people like jamaica kinkade, nicky finney, al young, robert bull bullard. and many others, and they've all brought their words together in the book, "the colors of nature." now one thing that this book has done -- and i'll end with this because i know we're short of time -- they're writing together, their voices, experiences, all together. imagine and enlarged both the frame and the language of the telling of our place in this country. what they also do is they call back anding for to each other. they call back anding for to us. they call back anding for to help us realize, to remind us, that our stories, of place, and in place, have never died. they're very much alive.
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and i'd like to invite you all to read theirs and tell yours barks it's in the telling we make history, and in the telling we make history known to those who would quiet it and put it on the shelf. thank you very much. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> let's give another round of [inaudible] questions. >> please keep your questions
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short because we want to have as many people as possible to participate in the discussion. >> hi, i'm carol, a physician, graduate of this wonderful institution, and my question actually is for miss mcquarter. have you had a chance to --...
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>> good afternoon. i'm nancy robinson lott, i'm from little rock, arkansas, and i am familiar. in fact, i'm from pulaski county, because i live in the rural area outside of little rock. i am familiar with the black land project, and we've tried that in our community. my husband is a gardener. my question is to ms. mcquarter. i'd like to ask about your book. are you into juicing as well as raw foods, or is it just the greens? [laughter] >> the greens, it's not just the greens, that's just, you know, a stand-in for anything that's healthy and plant-based. so, yes, raw foods, especially eating raw produce, you know, eating an apple, raw as opposed to baked is healthier, you know,
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that's easier to understand. juicing is great if you have something critical that you're trying to address. if you're trying to maintain your health or trying to lose weight, then i recommend blending because with blending you keep the fiber that's in the fruit that you would lose in the juice, so blending first. is that -- those are your -- okay. >> thank you. >> well, first, let me say i thought all the panelists were excellent. my question, however, is also for ms. mcquirter. i, for example, i've been trying to eat more healthy these days, and, for example, yesterday i got up and ate like a large bowl of greens -- they were frozen greens, but greens. and this morning i got up and ate chicken. and these were the only things i ate. and i find that i felt more energy when i ate the chicken, you know? it seems to me i'd feel more
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energetic when i eat protein as opposed to the vegetables. and the second question is, as one of the panelists referenced, your title by any greens necessary, specifically references malcolm x which makes me, of course, think of black folk. >> yeah. >> and my question is are there foods that are more culturally specific to black folk in terms of health? >> okay, big questions. first, let me say that protein is not be meat, protein is a nutrient that is found in meat, but meat is a package deal, so you also find saturated fat, cholesterol, hormones and antibiotics. protein is also in he -- legumes, split peas, lentils, it's in brown rice, whole wheat. it's also in very small quantities in vegetables and fruit. so do not say you need protein
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when you say that you need chicken, because you can get protein and calcium and all of the nutrients that you need, that your body needs every day from plant-based foods, and it's healthier to get them, because it doesn't come with the other stuff. so i can't address individually, and i don't mean to have an attitude about it, but when you're a vegan, that's the first question people ask. if i had a dollar, i'd be oprah at this point. [laughter] >> but do you have any thought why -- maybe it's just specific to me, but for some reason i have more energy when i eat meat. >> it may be that you, you know, you can eat some beans or, you know, you can eat some, you know, you can eat a burrito with some black beans and feel the same energy x. so my point is without knowing your particular issue, if it's more protein that you need, i could recommend some plant-based sources of it so that you don't have to worry about the cholesterol and the
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saturated fat. and your other question was -- can you remind me? >> there foods that are more culturally specific to black folk and better health? >> right. yes. there is a whole, there's a whole conversation about that, for sure. but plant-based foods, collard greens, mustard greens, dandelions, oak rah, all of these things we've been eating right alongside with eating soul food and/or as a part of soul food. so all of them are a part of our culture. our, you know, we just have the long history of eating this way. so i would say that the answer is, yes, and, you know, there's a conversation about being highly -- [inaudible] people and what foods we should eat -- >> do you have any examples of those types of foods that may be better for us? >> i would say for the dark, leafy greens in particular is what people should add to their
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plate the most. and particularly for women, we need to make half of our plate dark, leafy greens, okay? and so that means the old ard greens and the miss ards, and the swiss chard. and if you can, make them raw. so in my book the kale salad is the most popular dish even more than the strawberry cheesecake, you know, noncheesecake. and the reason is that you get the iron from the greens, you get the calcium, you get the vitamin k for the bones. so dark, leafy greens are where i tell everyone to start. so half of your plate, at least if you can't do that, make it a third and have smoothies in the morning where you throw in spinach, and you throw in kale, and you throw in dandelion greens. one or two leaves. okay? >> thank you. >> you're welcome. >> panelists, my name is paul
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coats, and i just want to thank you all for the presentations. i have for ms. savoy and a question for ms. mcquirter, i may have misheard your comment on w.e. duboise, particularly i think the article you did on africa, while the world powers are, why the first world war was fought and particularly his relationship and comments around africa, did you make a comment or something about the national park? >> what -- >> i missed, i didn't get -- >> i'm sorry -- >> i'll go back to my seat -- >> no, it's a good question. >> oh. i'm going to leave them both, and i'm going to go back. >> okay. >> ms. mcquirter, after ms. savoy, can you comment particularly on growth hormones and your recommendations to
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people. i read something recently particularly about soybeans that was disturbing, the percentage of growth hormones and the pollution with them. if you could comment on that, i'd appreciate it. thank you both. >> okay. >> i think in the interest of time i may have glossed over something a little bit too quickly. the main point i was trying to make with that is that in the early 1900s or in the 19 teens around the time the first world war began, most of the writings that you would see published by those who would consider themselves environmentalists or conservationists because environmentalist wasn't a word at the time, but those writings that then appear in the history of environmentalism in the country concern the establishment of the national park service which was in 1916. so environmental writing that was being publicly recognized was the writing about save ising land, about -- saving land, about making national parks.
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yet at the same time, duboise was writing about resources in africa, and if that's not environmental writing, i don't know what is. in fact, i think it's a deeper form of environmental writing. so that was the point. thank you for asking. >> mr. coats, thank you for all of your work this the publishing industry -- in the publishing industry. it's wonderful to -- >> yeah. >> and for your son's work as well for whatever influence you still have. [laughter] so to answer your question, i think i'll just deal with the soybeans in particular. so it's, a lot of people think, oh, i've got to eat tofu all the time. tofu is made from one bean, the soybean, right? so there's all kinds of other beans you can eat. if you don't like tofu, don't want to eat it, don't have to. soybeans are usually genetically modified in this country, and so if you are going to eat the soybean itself, if you're going to eat ed ma'am may, if you're
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going to eat miso, if you're going to eat them pay, it's best to get it organic because then you know it's not genetically modified. and the way that asian countries have traditionally eaten soy products is as a condiment. they are, they eat plant-based foods, and the soy is in the form of tempe, miso or the bean itself. in the united states, we replace a piece of steak or a piece of chicken with a piece of soy of some kind whether it's a burger or a hot dog or something like that. so we have, it's very highly processed. so it is not the healthiest way. it's tofu ice cream, it's tofu pepperoni, soy milk -- i didn't mean tofu, i meant soy cheese and soy pepperoni and soy ice cream. so these are very highly processed foods, often with a lot of sodium, with a lot of salt and sugar.
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and so it's best to eat it as the way that they do in asian countries traditionally, add a condiment -- as a condiment, and make the plant-based foods the basis of your meal. but when you do eat it, make sure it's organic. >> my question is to diane and to tracy. identify been on the -- i've been on the, i've been fighting the dieting for quite a long time. i used to be a vegetarian, and in church they would laugh at me. i said to the preacher you teach everything but nutrition, and then you pray for all the sick people in the church. and i left. and then i went to have some friends who were pentacostal, and i went to church one day, where is everybody? this one had die bees, this -- diabetes, this one had that. so i said to the pastor we really do not know, deborah, she says, would you be so kind as to teach us why are you a vegetarian?
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so i find that in our religious communities, they are not aware of how to teach their people how to eat. so young people like you need to be very involved with the ministry of our communities that help these pastors who teach the word and the word says how we should eat to help our people heal internally with their diets. because it's not just prayer alone that would cure you. >> right. >> and i say that to say i, are there any organizations in our community here in brooklyn that can teach women of color how to not only nourish their bodies and feed themselves, but their families as well. >> thank you. >> i can give you a reference. it's not here in brooklyn, but st. andrews united methodist church. , it's an ame, rather. they're in memphis, and the core, a core part of their goal is about the environment, and
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it's also about nutrition. they call themselves, their nickname is the saint, but be you look up st. andrews ame and get in contact with their pastor and with their staff, they can give you some direction because they're in the heart of, you know, everything is pigly wiggly down in memphis. [laughter] and they've started a, what is the word i'm looking for, they started an outdoor market in terms of food, and so there was no supermarket in the area, but they are bringing together farmers and african-americans and the poor parts of memphis so that they can have decent food and fresh food in their neighborhood. so it's the saints. look 'em up. and they're doing a great job. >> and there's also the black vegetarian society. where did you go? i'm sorry. >> here you go. >> there's the black vegetarian society of new york, black vegans of new york, and there are other groups of all kinds that, you know, go into the communities and promote
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plant-based foods. so not necessarily telling people they should be vegetarian or vegan, but meeting people where they are and helping them to eat more plant-based foods. but those are two organizations i'm, that i definitely know about. >> [inaudible] >> yeah, uh-huh, yeah. i had a recent conversation with him about that. >> [inaudible] >> but his -- right. [laughter] yeah. he's mainly talking about the, most people don't know that most of it is genetically modified, you know, organism, a genetically-modified food. >> okay. again, let's give a hand to our panelists for a wonderful discussion of saving ourselves, safing our community -- saving our community. [applause] >> and we have to give a hand to
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our moderator as well. thank you all. i learned so much today. i am encouraged to follow a positive path to health and well being. thank you so much. please give another hand for the panel and moderator. we just learned so much. [applause] we are going to be taking a break, but before you leave i want you to know that not only can we thank them with our applause, but you're going to have an opportunity to purchase their books in the hallway, i think their books, other items as well. some of those items are even videotapes and tapes of not only this session, but previous sessions that you really want to take advantage of. i believe they are autographing their books, am i correct? ah. so, please, make sure you come back in time. try to stay the whole day. we want to see you learn and grow and all of us grow together.


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